ANOKA, Minn. -- Pay up or face a debt collector. That's the message from District 11 to families who owe money for their child's school meals.
In the past two years, the district's child nutrition program has seen it's debt jump to $160,000. About one percent of families owe 100 dollars or more to the program. These are not students who are on the free lunch program. School officials have tried phone calls and letters to no avail.
"What we decided to do with the (School) Board's approval was look at how can we set up payment plans, how can we deal with people, how can we talk with families and parents and say we need to get this money back, this isn't okay," said Noah Atlas, Child Nutrition Program Director. "We came to the fact if people were just not in the end respond to us, if there was no consequence then we needed to look at something that dealt adult to adult which became collections."
One family in the district owes more than $4,000 for breakfast and lunches. The child nutrition program is self-supporting and doesn't use money from District 11's general fund.
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